Within forty minutes, the voice inside my head was screaming, WHAT HAVE I GOTTEN MYSELF INTO? I tried to ignore it, to hum as I hiked, though humming proved too difficult to do while also panting and moaning in agony and trying to remain hunched in that remotely upright position while also propelling myself forward when I felt like a building with legs.
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APACheryl Strayed Quotes. (n.d.). Jar of Quotes. Retrieved , from JarofQuotes.com Web site: https://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?id=within-forty-minutes-voice-inside-my-head-was-screaming-what-have-i-gotten-myself-into-i-tried-to-ignore-it-to-hum-as-i-hiked-though-humming-proved-too-difficult-to-do-while-also
ChicagoCheryl Strayed Quotes. Jar of Quotes, 2019. https://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?id=within-forty-minutes-voice-inside-my-head-was-screaming-what-have-i-gotten-myself-into-i-tried-to-ignore-it-to-hum-as-i-hiked-though-humming-proved-too-difficult-to-do-while-also, accessed .
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It's hard to go. It's scary and lonely...and half the time you'll be wondering why the hell you're in Cincinnati or Austin or North Dakota or Mongolia or wherever your melodious little finger-plucking heinie takes you. There will be boondoggles and discombobulated days, freaked-out nights and metaphorical flat tires. But it will be soul-smashingly beautiful... It will open up your life.
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Don't do what you know on a gut level to be the wrong thing to doI don't think there's a single dumbass thing I've done in my adult life that I didn't know was a dumbass thing to do while I was doing it. Even when I justified it to myself""as I did every damn time""the truest part of me knew I was doing the wrong thing. Always. As the years pass, I'm learning how to better trust my gut and not do the wrong thing, but every so often I get a harsh reminder that I've still got work to do.
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When someone you love truly dies, you have to find them over and over again in the world, and I think you do that on a very psychic, unconscious level, and I think in some ways I was calling out to that spirit of my mother when I saw the fox. It doesn't surprise me it's in animals that I find my mother.
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Each night the black sky and the bright stars were my stunning companions; occasionally Id see their beauty and solemnity so plainly that I'd realize in a piercing way that my mother was right. That someday I WOULD be grateful and that in fact I was grateful now, that I felt something growing in me that was strong and real.
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I think being a woman alone enhanced the impulse in others to be generous. What we're told is that to be a woman alone is to be in a dangerous situation. The message is that people are gong to prey on you and do bad things to you. That may be true in some cases, but what I experienced was the other case.
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It hadn't occurred to me that my mother would die. Until she was dying, the thought had never entered my mind. She was monolithic and insurmountable, the keeper of my life. She would grow old and still work in the garden. This image was fixed in my mind, like one of the memories from her childhood that I made her explain so intricately that I remembered it as if it were mine. She would be old and beautiful like the black-and-white photo of Georgia O'Keeffe I'd once sent her. I held fast to this image for the first couple of weeks after we left the Mayo Clinic, and then, once she was admitted to the hospice wing of the hospital in Duluth, that image unfurled, gave way to the others, more modest and true. I imagined my mother in October; I wrote the scene in my mind. And then the one of my mother in August and another in May. Each day that passed, another month peeled away.
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(I)t was Lady who saved my mother's life. Lady, who made it possible for her not only to walk away from my father, but also to keep going. Horses were my mother's religion. It was them she wanted to be with all those Sundays as a child, when she'd been made to put on dresses to go to mass.
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I was a terrible believer in things, but I was also a terrible nonbeliever in things. I was as searching as I was skeptical. I didn't know where to put my faith, or if there was such a place, or even what the word faith meant, in all of it's complexity. Everything seemed to be possibly potent and possibly fake.
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